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Remote Application Removal Feature allows Google to wipe the malicious apps from infected Android devices without any additional action on the part of users.

I am sure this feature is enforced for all apps downloaded from Google Play, but is it also effective for apps downloaded from alternative stores? If so, why not make use of this feature to remove repackaged apps downloaded from, e.g., stores of China.

Another question: if I report to Google that one of my apps has been repackaged and the repackaged app is on some alternative stores, does Google have the privileges to take it down?

Final question: does Google use this feature a lot to protect IP of legitimate apps? Are there any reports or documents about such statics?

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Is [Remote Application Removal Feature] also effective for apps downloaded from alternative stores?

No. Google doesn't care about apps that are downloaded from alternative stores, nor does they have to. Google provides a chance for user to check the application on installation-time (called Package Verifier), but beyond that, it's not Google's responsibility anymore.

If so, why not make use of this feature to remove repackaged apps downloaded from, e.g., stores of China.

I'm not sure about the connection between malicious apps and repackaged apps. The removal feature is for malicious apps, while repackaged apps are more about copyright issue, which is outside of Google's responsibility.

If I report to Google that one of my apps has been repackaged and the repackaged app is on some alternative stores, does Google have the privileges to take it down?

Again, no, it's not Google's responsibility. This is a legal issue regarding copyright between the developer and that alternative store, not Google.

Does Google use this feature a lot to protect IP of legitimate apps? Are there any reports or documents about such statics?

I'm not sure about that, but regarding IP protection, Google might have blocked them before it's even published on Play Store (as per Play Store Developer Policy).

  • Thanks! A follow-up question: does other alternative stores (e.g., amazon) have similar power to remotely remove an app from user devices? At least an ethical store, such as Amazon, will take down a repackaged app from its store if I report and provide evidences, right? – Infinite Apr 28 '16 at 14:06
  • @Infinite Amazon will probably take down the app, but they can't remove it from your device. They (and normal apps) don't have permission to silently uninstall app without user's consent. – Andrew T. Apr 28 '16 at 14:21
  • I would say Google warns the user about the malicious app but doesn't remove it on its own if the app didn't come from Play Store. I'm basing my claim based on the installation of this app. – Firelord Apr 28 '16 at 14:32

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